Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

Two tax-dodging Manchester councillors slapped with legal threats demanding £2,500

Two tax-dodging Manchester councillors slapped with legal threats demanding £2,500

| By Jordan Bluer – MM exclusive

Two tax-dodging Manchester councillors were slapped with severe legal threats demanding they pay back the £2,500 they owed last year  – which could have seen them land in prison.

Both tax-evading councillors were handed ‘liability orders’ in 2013/14 – strict demands for payment by a court at the request of the city council.

Both were a fraction away from direct action; bailiffs seizing property, deductions from wages, or a court case and a possible three months in prison.

Director of Taxpayer Alliance John O’Connell said: “Ordinary taxpayers who are chased for every penny are entitled to ask why their elected representatives think they're above the law.

“Councillors must pay on time to set a good example and to ensure that essential services are properly funded. Perhaps the delays are because Council Tax is simply too high?”

In 2012/13, three councillors required a ‘liability order’ for bills totalling £1,890 and three needed identical legal action for a £1,981 bill in 2011/12.

None of the councillors – part of Manchester’s labour majority council – can be identified under the Data Protection Act.

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: “We expect all Manchester residents to make adequate arrangements to pay their council tax including all councillors who represent them.

“The council takes robust action to recover outstanding monies from anyone who is in arrears.”

Less dire action, ‘court summonses’, were handed to one councillor for a £1,981 bill in 2012/13, and two councillors for a total £1,357 bill in 2010/11.

In these cases council tax was paid soon after, no ‘liability orders’ were issued, and no further action was taken.

The shocking figures – obtained by Freedom of Information request – come at a time when many Mancunians suffer from last year’s 3.7% increase in council tax and various cuts to benefits.

Earlier this month MM revealed a shocking 14% of Manchester residents struggle to pay their council tax, with 320 people summoned to court each day.  

Main image courtesy of Simon Cunningham, with thanks.